HARARE province has 52 000 illegal homes of which 25 000 are in Chitungwiza, Harare Metropolitan Provincial Affairs and Devolution secretary Tafadzwa Muguti said yesterday.
Speaking at a consultation workshop on the preparation of Chitungwiza Municipality master plan, Muguti said land barons were contributing to the spike in illegal settlements.
“Due to the absence of council master plans, land barons, politicians grabbed the opportunity to amass ill-gotten wealth. As we speak, dysfunctional settlements are the order of the day in towns such as Chitungwiza. We have over 52 000 illegal settlements in Harare province,” Muguti said.
“Some have no documents and some have corrupt documents. In Chitungwiza, we have 25 000. Government is having a headache trying to clear a mess that has been created by some opportunists who are not even council workers or government officials.”
According to Muguti, Chitungwiza municipality has been operating without a master plan since 1996.
“This saw the local authority facing a lot of challenges, chief among them uncontrolled development. We have witnessed the invasion of institutional stands, recreational as well as servitude turned into residential properties and these uncoordinated developments are causing a lot of challenges in Chitungwiza,” he said, noting that this is the reason why they always demolish illegal structures to restore sanity because some of the stands were being allocated on wetlands.
“If someone is corrupt, they should face the law. If we see you building without documentation, we will act immediately,” Muguti said.
Chitungwiza Residents Trust director Alice Kuveya said government was never serious about arresting land barons who are accused of contributing to the haphazard construction of houses. – News Day